Pro Hac Vice Admissions in U.S. District Court SDNY and EDNY and Local Counsel Representation
When an attorney located outside New York who is not admitted to practice in New York wants to appear in a case before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”) or United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (“EDNY”), he or she will need to be admitted pro hac vice. Pro hac vice admissions means admissions for that one case (literally translated from Latin as “for this turn”).
The rules for pro hac vice admissions in SDNY and EDNY are the same and are specified in Local Civil Rule 1.3(c). In summary, a member in good standing of the bar of any state or of any United States District Court may be permitted to argue or try a particular case in whole or in part as counsel on motion filed with a certificate of the court for each of the states in which the applicant is a member of the bar, which has been issued within thirty (30) days of filing and states that the applicant is a member in good standing of the bar of that state court, and an affidavit (or declaration under penalty of perjury pursuant to Local Rule 1.9 and 28 U.S.C. § 1746); by the applicant stating (a) whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony, (b) whether the applicant has ever been censured, suspended, disbarred or denied admission or readmission by any court, (c) whether there are any disciplinary proceedings presently against the applicant and (d) the facts and circumstances surrounding any affirmative responses to (a) through (c); and (2) upon paying the required fee. Attorneys appearing for the Department of Justice may appear before the Court without requesting pro hac vice admission. Attorneys appearing for other federal agencies must move for pro hac vice admission but the fee requirement is waived and the certificate(s) of good standing may have been issued within one year of filing. Only an attorney who has been so admitted or who is a member of the bar of the SDNY or EDNY may enter appearances for parties, sign stipulations or receive payments upon judgments, decrees or orders.
Motions to appear pro hac vice and associated fees (currently $200) must be filed and paid online on the Court's Case Management / Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system. SDNY has a sample form of motion and proposed order on its website. However, it is not a Word document or fillable pdf. For the convenience of our attorney colleagues in other jursidictions we have created a fillable pdf version of the pro hac vice motion which you can download here and a fillable pdf version of the proposed order which you can download here. It should be noted that orders granting motions for pro hac vice admission may appear solely as a docket entry by the Clerk without a pdf document attached.
The pro hac vice motion may be filed either by a sponsoring attorney or by the attorney seeking admission pro hac vice. Different judges have different procedures regarding pro hac vice motions which are detailed in their Individual Practices available on the SDNY and EDNY websites (for example, some Judges do not require courtesy copies of pro hac vice motions).
Upon admission the attorney admitted pro hac vice must obtain an ECF password and file a notice of appearance online on ECF.
There is no requirement in SDNY or EDNY to associate local counsel. However, it is certainly a good idea. Unlike in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. in SDNY and EDNY most District Court Judges and Magistrate Judges do not routinely permit counsel to appear by telephone. Indeed, unlike Bankruptcy Court very few SDNY judges participate in CourtCall. As of 2018 of the 43 SDNY District Court judges and 15 Magistrate Judges, only a handful are registered with CourtCall. No EDNY judges or magistrates participate in CourtCall. Some judges who do not participate in CourtCall have other arrangements for telephonic appearances. Some judges will only permit counsel to be in “listen only” mode and not speak on the record if appearing telephonically. Other judges may not permit telephonic appearance at all. This means that counsel who has appeared pro hac vice who has no local New York counsel associated with the case will have to travel to New York for every routine conference and hearing.
At Starr & Starr, PLLC we have an active local counsel practice. We are experienced in assisting out-of-state counsel in a local counsel capacity in a variety of different types of cases. The extent of our involvement depends on what out-of-state counsel and the client want us to do. We cover all of the court locations for SDNY and EDNY (U.S. District Court SDNY, Manhattan and White Plains Courthouses; U.S. District Court EDNY, Brooklyn and Central Islip Courthouses). Please feel free to contact us at 888-867-8165 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.